Having been a cohort for 39 Steps in the fall, I am struck with the differences between these two plays as the rehearsal process continues. 39 Steps is such a physical play that it seemed a lot of the rehearsal was built around how this physicality would translate on the stage and keep the story moving. Informed Consent is such an emotional play it seems that much of the rehearsal still revolves around continually understanding the impact that the issues have on the characters. Even now as the play in getting close to the tech rehearsals, Sean, Deb and the actors stop the actual play and discuss the issues and what they have learned about these issues. They are making sure that every word and every nuance of the actors words, voice, motion, staging, etc reflects the impact of these issues in a way that helps the audience understand the issue and the storyline.
The other thing I noticed is that again a simple action by an actor, with no particular plan ahead of time, can sometimes lead to just the right moment on stage. In this case, the rehearsal was after lunch, the actors were tired and when no actively a part of the action were stretching and laying on the benches that are a part of set. Larissa just a few lines to say, and so, remained in this prone position while giving them in rehearsal. When Sean broke the rehearsal he said to her “I liked that that you were lying down with your head hanging. Let’s do that, just make sure that your face is not behind the drum.” Who knew? Probably no one. But that is one of the delights and excitements of making live theatre.
Thanks again for the opportunity.